Feb 23, 2016

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Asparagus and Pea Shoots

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
I like Gorgonzola because it is so smooth and buttery; it is easily melted to make this sauce.

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Blue cheeses can be very polarizing; some people love it and some people hate it. I like Gorgonzola because it is so smooth and buttery. It gives the pasta that tangy, salty taste without being too overpowering, especially when combined with the Parmesan, which has a sharp nutty flavor. It pairs well with the fresh peas, pea shoots and asparagus in this springy dish.

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Asparagus and Pea Shoots

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Gorgonzola – Gorgonzola is a type of veined blue cheese. If you aren’t a big fan of blue cheeses try this recipe with Gorgonzola dolce, which is a young, milder and creamy variety of the cheese.
  • Pea shoots – Pea shoots are the leaves and tendrils of pea plant vines. They are easy to find at farmer’s markets in spring and pair well with crisp asparagus and English peas.
  • Shallot – Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed yellow or red onion can be swapped in. The general rule of thumb is 3 medium shallots equal 1 medium onion.
  • Pasta – I use orecchiette in this recipe which translates to “little ears” for the shape they resemble. This type of pasta is associated with Apulia, the southern Italian region. I love how it pairs with the ingredients in this dish. You can also use stozzapreti, a type of elongated cavatelli- either make great substitutes in this recipe.

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How to Make this Pasta with Gorgonzola, Asparagus & Pea Shoots

  1. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta and set aside.
  2. Heat pan. Return the pot to medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the olive oil and heat through.
  3. Cook the vegetables. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the shallots, garlic, asparagus and peas sauté, stirring occasionally, until vibrant green and tender. Add the pea greens and sauté until just wilted. Remove to a medium bowl and return the pot heat.
  4. Add the cream and cheese. Reduce the heat to low then stir in the cream and sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and the crumbled Gorgonzola, stirring constantly, until it has completely melted and the sauce is creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the cooked vegetables and pasta into the creamy sauce until combined.
  5. Toast breadcrumbs. In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter and allow it to melt. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to coat in the butter. Let cook, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  6. Serve. To serve, ladle the pasta into warmed pasta bowls and top with the breadcrumbs.

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Tips and Tricks for This Pasta Recipe

  • If you can’t find pea shoots, substitute with spinach.
  • I always recommend reserving some of the pasta cooking water before draining your pasta. The salty, starchy water that the pasta is cooked in adds flavor and helps to bind the sauce to the pasta, making a rich and silky sauce. 

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Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Asparagus & Pea Shoots-29.jpg

Pasta with Gorgonzola, Asparagus and Pea Shoots

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound orecchiette pasta, or other pasta shape of choice
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 2 cups roughly chopped asparagus
  • 1 cup shelled English peas
  • 3 ounces pea shoots
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 6 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water then drain the pasta and set aside.
  • Return the pot to medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the olive oil and heat through.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and add the shallots, garlic, asparagus and peas sauté, stirring occasionally, until vibrant green and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the pea greens and sauté until just wilted. Remove to a medium bowl and return the pot heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low then stir in the cream and sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese and the crumbled Gorgonzola, stirring constantly, until it has completely melted and the sauce is creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the cooked vegetables and pasta into the creamy sauce until combined.
  • In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter and allow it to melt. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to coat in the butter. Let cook, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  • To serve, ladle the pasta into warmed pasta bowls and top with the breadcrumbs.

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